Jade McInally, AKA Jade Imagine, brings us our Spring edition of EARS – a mixtape series in collaboration with Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher’sMilk! Records. Originally hailing from the Sunshine Coast, Jade has been a significant contributor to the Australian indie scene for more than a decade, and writes music of quiet determination, blending synthwave, art and rock. Jade Imagine has recently released their debut record titled ‘Basic Love’ and are currently on tour with Stella Donnelly.
“This mixtape titled ‘in-between worlds’ is a nod to the journey I’ve taken, from my past to present. From the music I listened to on the coast where I grew up, a remote and removed place, to the songs I listened to when I moved to inner city Melbourne, in the present. These songs capture the extremes of coast to concrete, ethereal to tactical and some sit somewhere in-between.”
Ears #38: In-between Worlds, track listing:
1. Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe – Labyrinthine 2. Tiny Ruins – Dream Wave – Dream Wave 3. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left – River Man 4. Terry – Terry HQ – Hot Heads 5. Bridget St John – Bridget St John – Autumn Lullaby 6. Chromatics – In the City – In the City 7. Sleater-Kinney – The Centre Won’t Hold – The Future is Here 8. The Church – Of Skins and Heart – Bel-Air 9. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Partone – Shifting Sands 10. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread – Comfortable Home (A True Story)
11. St. Vincent – Masseduction – Pills
12. The Church – Heyday – Disenchanted
What are you doing these days?
Heaps of stuff, I guess. These days I am having the breath out after the album-making process (finishing the artwork, film clips, album release, etc). It finally came out into the world a couple of weeks ago! It’s been nice to get to the end of it all. Feels like a good time to ask myself “what’s next?” Other than that, I worked on a song and film clip with Mick Harvey recently for a project he’s been working on. This week I’m getting ready to start tour times. Heading to New Zealand, then on the road with Stella Donnelly for nearly two months…
JPWhere do you live in Melbourne? How is it there?
JMI’ve lived in Northcote for nearly 6 years. Originally I moved into a house there, and then my sister and cousin moved in and we had a super cute family house. I got new housemates recently though who are super lovely; all very creative too. It’s a nice place with a big backyard, which is a rarity in Melbourne’s inner city, but it’s so nice in summer.
JPWhat’s your favourite city in the whole world?
JMI am not sure I can narrow it down to one city. If I had to pick one it’d be Sunshine Beach which is just the best and most chill town in the Sunshine Coast. I am biased though, because that’s where I grew up! Second to that, I quite like LA.
JPAnd your favourite building?
JMI mean, it’s not exactly a building per se, but in 2011-ish I spent some time in Europe and one day I went with my partner at the time to Emperor Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli. It’s an hour or so out of Rome. This place was amazing. It was completely crumbling, but you could just walk around the gardens, groves of olive trees, pools with disintegrating Roman statues, amphitheatres, etc… We stayed till the sun started to go down. It was quiet, and it felt like travelling back in time.
JPIf there were no practical constraints, where would you live?
JMI would live in a small coastal town as close to the beach as possible. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am a small-town kind of person. Big cities and loud traffic and the general background noise of the city doesn’t work for me. But going to sleep to the sound of waves on the shore or waking up early for a surf or swim, now that would make me feel my best, and therefore be my best self, and allow me to be a productive artist.
JPWhat comes to mind when I say ‘the culture of living closer together’?
JMI think about all the apartments that have come up around my local ‘hood of Northcote and East Brunswick over the past few years. I feel that living in close proximity to others is not necessarily something that comes naturally to all people, especially Australians… There are many years of conditioning in people’s psyche that says that, the more land you own and the taller your fence, the better you’ve done in life. But it’s clear that it’s not a sustainable solution for the planet. The reality of living closer together is becoming more and more real every day – a practical solution.
A friend of mine who has worked in urban planning was telling me about how important it is for town planners to create ‘places’ within the cities; the importance of allowing space for a park next to the block of new apartments, or building a market or a community garden – things which encourage healthy interaction between members of the community. I feel that it is possible for humans to learn to live closer together in a healthy way, where everyone gets what they need out of life. But, I do feel that a big part of the shift towards ‘living closer together’ needs to be supported by a shift in values; no longer valuing ‘what’s mine is mine’, but valuing the importance of sharing, communities focused on the greater good and what can be made together.
A warm thank you to Jade for sharing her story, music and musings on life. You can support Melbourne’s independent music scene and buy Jade Imagine’s debut album directly from Milk! Records. Catch Jade live across Australia until the end of November – more info on their tour dates here. Photos by Madeline Ellerm.
Jana Perkovic is an editor and scholar in urban design and policy innovation, currently with Melbourne Centre for Cities at University of Melbourne. She has previously worked at SPACE10, IKEA's innovation lab, and was editor of Assemble Papers 2017-2019. On the side, she covers the Australian performing arts - particularly physical and dance - for a variety of publications. She divides her time between Berlin, Copenhagen, Melbourne and her hometown in Croatia, which involves quite a lot of working on trains.